The economy nearly sputtered out in the final quarter of last year. It is probably faring even worse now as the housing, credit and financial crises take their toll on people and businesses alike.
The Commerce Department, in a new report Thursday, says the economy grew at a feeble 0.6 percent annual rate in the October-to-December quarter. The reading -- unchanged from a previous estimate a month ago -- provided stark evidence of just how much the economy has weakened. In the prior quarter, the economy clocked in at a sizzling 4.9 percent growth rate.